Grand Theft Auto V Audio Review

Posted: Saturday, October 5, 2013 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , , , ,

Rockstar Games has once again released another game in the Grand Theft Auto line up.  Since GTA V has been out for a little bit now, it seems appropriate to review the audio of this game.  While of course I have things to say about the gameplay itself, this is an audio blog, so let’s stick to that.  Let’s dive into it, shall we?

Well, there’s a good segue: diving.  I am quite fond of how Rockstar designed the sound for underwater.  Everything is muffled with some very prominent low pass filters on all the sound.  There doesn't seem to be any unnatural sounds such giving fish a sound, just to give them a sound.  I love the deep rumbles and scrapes you get when crashing a submarine into whatever you find underwater.

Courtesy of Gotta Be Mobile

The ambiances of the city and desert areas are done well.  Many games will overpower you with unnatural prerecorded background noise to try to envelope you in the atmosphere.  GTA V takes a realistic approach: if there is nothing going on, it’s quiet except for distant sounds; if you’re in the middle of a bustling city, there is a lot of sound.

Obviously GTA is all about cars and guns to most players.  So how do the guns of GTA V sound?  Well, for the most part, Rockstar did a great job on these.  The guns have evolved from the “pop, pop, click, click” sounds of San Andreas.  They now sound pretty realistic.  They may be a little quiet at times, but a pistol sounds like a pistol, a rifle like a rifle, and a shotgun like a shotgun.  The explosions may be a little over the top, but hey, it’s a video game.

As for the cars of GTA V, I will simply say that I don’t think I have ever heard better car crashes before.  So many video games over saturate car crashes with a ridiculous amount of glass and trailing sounds.  GTA V gives you a smack and pop with each hit, and then it’s done.  No long drawn out sounds.  They really give a feel of a real crash.  As for the engine sounds, well, I’m a car guy.  The muscle cars could have been a little louder, but I suppose I’ll let them pass.  Another downside would be the horns on the cars are delayed sometimes when pressing down on them.  This seems to be very common in modern video games.

Courtesy of iGTA5

The music of Grand Theft Auto V is pretty varied with its seventeen radio stations.  Now, I like rock and country, so I pretty much just listen to “Los Santos Rock Radio” and “Rebel Radio”.  I was a little disappointed with the country station.  When I first turned it on and heard a Waylon Jennings song, I was quite excited, but when I heard over and over again “Are Sure Hank Done It This Way”, it became tiring.  The quality of the music was great though!  No ridiculous compression like in games such as Saints Row IV.

The dialogue was well acted, well recorded, and well mixed.  The Grand Theft Auto V voice actors did a great job.  However, every now and then, I noticed the classic GTA over compressed dialogue during missions.  This was very present during the first few missions with Lamar and his voice specifically.  Now I’m not sure if it got better, or if I just got used to it because I was getting into the game.

All in all, the sound design and recording of this game is excellent!  Rockstar did a really good job with this one, and I hope the rest of the games down the line follow similar sound.